Christie allies convicted in 'Bridgegate' trial
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Two top allies to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Friday were convicted of involvement in a scheme to close down lanes on the George Washington Bridge to exact political retribution. 


Bill Baroni, a Christie appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Bridget Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff, were convicted on charges including conspiracy, fraud and deprivation of civil rights. 

The New Jersey jury spent the past week deliberating over nine charges — Kelly and Baroni faced five charges together, while each faced two additional individual counts. 

In a statement, Christie said that he is "saddened by the choices made by Bill Baroni, Bridget Kelly and David Wildstein" but professed his innocence and promised to "set the record straight in the coming days regarding the lies that were told by the media and in the courtroom."

"Let me be clear once again, I had no knowledge prior to or during these lane realignments and had no role in authorizing them," he said. 

"No believable evidence was presented to contradict that fact. Anything said to the contrary over the past six weeks in court is simply untrue." 

The investigation and subsequent trial over the 2013 incident has been a stain on Christie's political career since the first accusations. His aides were accused of closing lanes to create a traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J., because the town’s Democratic mayor refused to back Christie's reelection. 

The probe dogged Christie during his presidential run, which ended in February after a series of struggles. 

After ending his campaign, Christie endorsed Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMajority of Americans in new poll say it would be bad for the country if Trump ran in 2024 ,800 bottle of whiskey given to Pompeo by Japan is missing Liz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party MORE and became a close ally of the GOP's eventual nominee, eventually being named chairman of Trump’s presidential transition team.

During the trial, another former Christie confidant who had previously pled guilty, David Wildstein, told prosecutors that the plan had been his idea. He claimed Baroni and Kelly participated in the scheme.

Wildstein also argued that he took a 2013 email from Kelly calling for "traffic problems in Fort Lee" as part of the conspiracy, while Kelly had argued she meant it only as a joke. 

Another unearthed correspondence showed Wildstein downplaying the impact of the closures by arguing that kids whose school buses were stuck in the traffic were children of Christie's 2013 mayoral opponent. 

Christie has long professed ignorance about the alleged plot, but during the trial, Kelly agreed with other witness testimony that accused Christie of knowing about it ahead of time. 

Updated at 12:33 p.m.